Date of Graduation

Summer 8-1-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD)


School of Nursing and Health Professions




Clinical Psychology (PsyD)

First Advisor

Brent Richard Ferm

Second Advisor

Dhara Meghani

Third Advisor

Brac Selph


This mixed method study aimed to understand and describe the effectiveness of an intervention and the experiences of mothers raising their children in a transitional living home. This was achieved through interviewing four mothers in Gilead House. Initially, participants completed the Depression, Anxiety and Stress scale (DASS-21), the Trauma History Screening (THS), the Adolescent Adult Parenting Inventory-2 (AAPI-2) and a demographics form. The first interview was also completed. Interview questions were based on the Working Model of the Child Interview (WCMI). Following this time 1 meeting an attachment-based group intervention was utilized for eight weeks. This intervention was based on the Connect Parent Group. Following the intervention each participant completed an exit interview consisting of the AAPI-2 and an interview with the same questions from time 1.

Mothers raising their children following homelessness and financial instability are more likely to face additional attachment and mentalization based challenges in their relationships with their children. A sample of four mothers living in transitional housing with their children participated in an attachment-based group intervention with the hope that mothers will express more positive perceptions of their parenting abilities, more appropriate expectations and attitudes about their children’s behavior, and express an overall improvement in their relationship with their child(ren).

Quantitative results suggest one significant change in the category of Parental Empathy toward Children’s Needs in the reverse order as was predicted, that is mothers endorsed less empathic attitudes following the intervention. However, Interpretative phenomenological Analysis results indicate that mothers endorsed feelings of progress and confidence regarding parenting, were more reflective and sensitive about their children’s experiences and felt more empowered in themselves following the intervention. The results of the quantitative and qualitative studies signify participants were able to tolerate a more honest appraisal of self and other the intervention. Implications of the findings and future research are discussed.